HAVE A BIGGER GOAL IN MIND
The easiest way to keep yourself from buying more stuff that you don’t need is to think of one giant splurge you want and then work towards it. Sounds counterintuitive, right? How is thinking of something even lustier than that $40 dress you’ve been considering going to make you want to stop shopping? It’s mind game and that’s why it works.
WAIT FOUR DAYS
You’ve heard about curbing your impulse buys by 24 or 48 hours, but I say put a solid four days between you and the pretty little thing in question. Why? Because it’s about the same amount of time it takes for someone to get over a crush.
MAKE IT PAST THE 45 MINUTE RULE
According to finance blogger Bridget Casey from Money After Graduation, “If you will not use an item for at least 45 minutes per day, you do not need to own it.” Sounds kind of nuts, right? How can you possibly use every item in your closet for 45 minutes every day? But when you break it down, that’s only 5.25 hours a week, or 11 days a year. Not so bad, and kind of completely doable.
DO AN INVENTORY CHECK
Before you run off and buy it, do an inventory check and see how many duplicates of that item you already own. You might be surprised with what you already have and realize you actually don’t need it. According to wardrobe stylist Jenna Suhl, “It’s not uncommon for people to buy new things because they have so much they can’t see what they already have.”
CALCULATE YOUR COST VS. LABOUR
When I see the cost of an item, I calculate how many hours of work it would take to earn that amount. This was particularly effective when I was making $10-15 an hour waiting tables, babysitting and other jobs I hated. Instead of asking, is this pair of jeans worth $100? I’d ask, is this pair of jeans worth an entire shift at my soul sucking restaurant job?
KEEP AWAY FROM TEMPTATION
If you know you have a tendency to splurge on non-essentials, don’t tempt yourself with window-shopping or trips to the mall for leisure. Aimless wandering leads to aimless spending. Avoid it by choosing alternate, non-budget-threatening ways to unwind – a walk in the park, a visit to the library, a potluck with friends, etc.
Practice mindfulness and gratitude for everything in your life – experiences, relationships, opportunities, etc.
Taking the time to recognise and say thank you for simple pleasures, from a sunny day to a delicious cup of home brew, can go a long way in creating an abundant mindset, which is a powerful antidote to impulse buys and overspending.